Report Warns Clinicians to Improve Infection Prevention Efforts in Dental Settings
Authors who reviewed more than 10 years’ worth of reports have concluded that transmission of blood-borne pathogens is rare in dental settings — but not rare enough.
Authors who reviewed more than 10 years’ worth of reports have concluded that transmission of blood-borne pathogens is rare in dental settings — but not rare enough. They warn that clinicians must do a better job of adhering to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention infection prevention recommendations.
In the study, “Transmission of Blood-borne Pathogens in U.S. Dental Health Care Settings: 2016 Update,” published online by the Journal of the American Dental Association, the authors reviewed the literature from 2003 through 2015 to identify cases of blood-borne pathogen transmission. They identified three reports describing the transmission of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Two involved single transmission events — from one patient to another — in outpatient oral surgery. The third involved possible transmission of hepatitis B to three patients and two dental personnel in a temporary dental clinic.
In two of these investigations, the team discovered lapses in infection prevention practices. “The existence of these reports,” the authors note, “emphasizes the need to improve dental health care personnel’s understanding of the basic principles and implementation of standard precautions through the use of checklists, policies and practices.”
From Decisions in Dentistry. July 2016;1(09):8.